Author(s): Bucknall RC, Davis P, Bacon PA, Jones JV
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Abstract Twenty-five patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and neutropenia, of whom 19 had a palpable spleen, were compared with 24 patients with uncomplicated RA, and 16 patients with RA and associated splenomegaly without neutropenia. Clinically patients with neutropenia had evidence of a more systemic disease as assessed by prevalence of rheumatoid nodules, weight loss, and recurrent infections. However, there was less evidence of active synovitis than in the other 2 groups. Marrow neutrophil reserve was studied by means of a hydrocortisone stimulation test and was found to be lower in all 3 groups than in normal persons but with most marked depletion in the neutropenic group. Removal of the spleen in some patients with neutropenia resulted in a significant increase in marrow neutrophil reserve. Circulating immune complexes as detected by anticomplementary activity and platelet aggregation tests were detected in 68\% of the RA neutropenia group, 31\% of the RA splenomegaly group, and 8\% of the uncomplicated RA group. Our results show that, assessed both clinically and by the above tests, patients with neutropenia have a greater prevalence of abnormalities which may be directly related to their neutropenia. Patients with splenomegaly alone closely resemble patients with uncomplicated RA.
This article was published in Ann Rheum Dis
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research